August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Friday, September 28, 2012

Day 5 Texas tarsands blockade: Tree sitters remain as bulldozers destroy heartland

Day 5:

This is the true face of Keystone XL. This pictures says it all. This horrific scar is at the doorstep of our tree blockade and is slated to cut 110-feet wide for 1,700 miles through America’s heartland. Millions of homes and trees are being plowed to make way for this toxic pipeline. Right now heavy machinery is a mere 60 feet from our nine brave blockaders in the trees. Follow it here:

First Nation Terrance Nelson alleges vote buying, delegation heads to Iran

Terrance Nelson, former Roseau River chief in Manitoba, made allegations today of vote buying in an e-mail to the Prime Minister.

Further, Nelson said a First Nation delegation leaves for Iran on Oct. 8 and will ask for the lives of three Canadians on death row. In his previous statement, Nelson said the delegation will also show photos of the massacre of Wounded Knee.

Nelson’s morning e-mail has brought a dramatic reaction already.
Among the allegations, Nelson questioned if there was a payment of $25,000 for a chief to distance himself from Nelson.

Updates from APTN on Oct. 1, 2012
Allegations bring threats to Terrance Nelson and others
The following are morning and evening e-mails sent from Nelson to the press today, Sept. 28, 2012.

By Terrance Nelson
Posted at Censored News

Dear Prime Minister
An accusation has been made against the Harper Government of vote
buying. Chief Nelson Houle of the Ebb and Flow First Nation in
Manitoba delivered a public speech at the Treaty 1-11 Gathering in
Brandon Manitoba in front a large audience in which he said that he
was asked to attend a breakfast meeting at the Fairmount hotel on the
morning of the Assembly of First Nations election. He stated in his
speech that he met with two Ministers and two Aboriginal Affairs
people. They were very concerned with the possibility of my being
elected National Chief. Chief Houle's speech is on record. He stated,
"I should have took the deal".

Chief Morris Shannacappo of Rolling River First Nation who was Grand
Chief of Southern Chiefs Organization at the time of the AFN election
in Toronto has accused Regional Director General Anna Fontaine of the
Manitoba Regional Aboriginal Affairs of paying $25,000 to have him
"distance" himself from me. He has made the accusation that he was
told "Chief, the door will be open for you and your community".

These are very serious charges to be made in public by the Chiefs in
question. Your government has always stated that accountablity and
transparentcy are your goals. Was there a $250,000 contract paid by
the Assembly of First Nations to the person who nominated Shawn Atleo
for National Chief. This was a question put forward by Chief Wallace
Fox of Onion Lake Saskatchewan. The Regional Chiefs from the Assembly
of First Nations who I have asked to verify or deny the existence of
that contract are telling me that they are not being given the
information on various contracts by the AFN.

Pam Palmater another candidate delivered a speech this week to Chiefs
making an accusation that $20 million was committed by the Minister of
Aboriginal Affairs to various First Nations to influence the AFN
election. These are public statements being made at various gatherings
of Chiefs.

For an RDG of the department of Aboriginal Affairs in Manitoba who is
in charge of almost a billion dollars of federal funding to meet with
Chiefs and try to infleunce the vote at the Assembly of First Nations
is a very serious charge. Did Anna Fontaine make such statements and
did she try to buy votes with Canadian federal funding? More
importantly, was this a directive given by your government to
Aboriginal Affairs?

You and I differ greatly on the Iran/Israel issue. I support the right
of Israel to exist but I don't support another war, this one against
Iran. As I stated to the Chiefs in my speech at the July 2012 AFN
election, I will travel to Iran whether I am elected National Chief or
not. As a person who organized a First Nation trip to Iraq in 1998, I
saw first hand the suffering of the Iraqi people. My You Tube video, A
war on children, depicts what we saw in Iraq. I have condemned United
Nations economic sanctions as genocide and I will continue to condemn
economic sanctions as an evil. The fact that the United Nations found
in a 1995 study that 567,000 Iraqi children had died in the first five
years of economic sanctions is proof of evil. When half a million
Iraqi children die, how can we condone economic sanctions as a milder
form of war.

Your government cutting funding to the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs,
our Manitoba voice for First Nations will affect the way they work
with your government. To cut 81% of their funding is an attempt to
silence the Chiefs of Manitoba. I hope that I am not so egotiscal as
to believe that your only reason is that AMC supported my bid for
National Chief but we do need to get to the bottom of why these cuts
are being made.

A small First Nation delegation will leave to Geneva on October 8th
and we will fly to Tehran on October 11 from Geneva. As we cannot get
our visas in Ottawa anymore, we will get them in Geneva. I intend to
ask for the lives of the three Canadians on death row in Iran. I have
no illusions. I will ask, that is all I can do. A lot of the Chiefs
seem scared of the trip to Iran but regardless if we are to break the
60 to 95% unemployment on First Nations in Canada, we must go beyond
Ottawa. Whether OPEC nations are prepared to work with First Nations
in Canada remains to be seen.

It appears your government is closing doors on dialogue. I will not
support a war on Iran. There are some of us in North America that do
not see the need for another war. I attach a link that puts a
different view forward. I don't always agree with everything that is
being said but free speech is a right and it is a responsibility.

As I stated in my speech at the AFN election, Steven Harper is not the
problem, we are the problem. By that statement, I meant that we cannot
wait for someone to rescue us, we must do whatever we need to do to
rescue ourselves. If Canada is unwilling to break the economic
sanctions imposed upon First Nations in Canada then we will do it
ourselves. As your Aboriginal Affairs people stated to Chief Nelson
Houle, if Terry Nelson gets elected National Chief, industry will have
to open up their wallet. The question that Chief Houle asked after
that statement was made by an official in your government was, Why
does Terry Nelson have to elected National Chief, why can't it happen

Dear Deputy Minister Hallman

I recieved an email from RDG Anna Fontaine and will respond to both
your email and the RDG's at the same time.

I did not have third party hearsay evidence on this matter. The speech
made by Chief Nelson Houle of Ebb and Flow First Nation was recorded
at the Treaty 1-11 Gathering. He made the statement that he met with
Ministers and Aboriginal Affairs officials. This is a matter of
record. There was also hundreds of witnesses who can verify the text
of his speech. If this does get to court or to a parliamentary
inquiry, Chief Morris Shannacappo will be testifying under oath as to
what he stated to me and a number of other people.

This afternoon, Dean Fontaine, the husband of Anna Fontaine has
admitted to a reporter that he phoned Gerald McIvor on why McIvor had
sent out copies of my earlier email to press etc. I also recieved a
very nasty message this evening from RDG Fontaine's in law. I have it
on tape.

I have no animosity towards Anna Fontaine. This is not personal. The
issue is, did the RDG meet with Chiefs at the AFN election in Toronto.
Did Ministers or Deputy Ministers meet with Chiefs at the Toronto AFN
election for National Chief and did representatives and employees of
Aboriginal Affairs mention their preference of who the Chiefs should
vote for. Aboriginal Affairs administers over $10 billion each year
for First Nations. Such influence over the Chiefs is real if
Aboriginal Affairs people met with Chiefs to discuss who the Chiefs
should vote for.

A few years ago former RDG for Mantioba, Mary Blais was marched out of
her office alongside two other Indian Affairs senior personel. She
recieved a substantial settlement and apparently is under a gag order
as part of her settlement. Why is there so much secrecy? Can Mary
Blais and other Aboriginal Affairs staff testify in a parliamentary
inquiry on this issue. The workings of the Regional Department of
Aboriginal Affairs in Manitoba must be accountable and transparent. At
least, the Conservative Government has always stated that Chiefs and
Councils must be accountable and transparent, why not the government?
Accusations are made every day against Chiefs and Council members, do
the courts ever hear a defamation lawsuit, why is it defamation if I
ask questions, did Aboriginal Affairs staff or Ministers, Deputy
Ministers meet with Chiefs to discuss the AFN election. Did they
influence how Chiefs should vote?

Did Shawn Atleo or members of the AFN authorize a $250,000 contract to
Ovide Mercredi as Chief Wallace Fox has questioned. Why can't this
question be answered? Did Ovide Mercredi meet with Chiefs in northern
Manitoba to lobby for Shawa Atleo? Was he paid to do this? These are
simply questions. Anna Fontaine states clearly, "I have never ever
promised anything for votes for anyone". Okay RDG Fontaine denies any
wrongdoing. Now, does she deny meeting with Chiefs in Toronto and did
she at any time discuss the AFN election with Chiefs? What Ministers
and Deputy Ministers met with Chiefs in Toronto and did they discuss
with Chiefs, the AFN election?

It seems to me that if you have $10 billion every year that the Chiefs
and their communities need that it would not be hard to influence
their vote, they would be listening to you if you mention who you like
working with. It is not about Anna Fontaine and whether or not she is
a good person, it is about the appearance and perhaps the reality of
vote buying. Do you Ron Hallman as Senior Deputy Minister state for
the record that none of your Aboriginal Affairs staff met with Chiefs
in Toronto? Are you saying that no Minister or Deputy Minister met
with Chiefs in Toronto?

If you want to go to court on this, that's fine. I have not made an
accusation against anyone, I am repeating what was stated by Chiefs
and I am asking questions. If that is illegal, let us go to court and
we can have AANDC staff and Ministers and Deputy Ministers testifying
under oath. I have nothing to hide, do you?

Terrance Nelson
Anna Fontaine has denied the allegations.


Save Lehman Brightman's home from foreclosure

Message from Quanah Parker Brightman
Posted at Censored News
 Go Fund Me for Lehman Brightman:

Dear Relatives,

This letter is written on behalf of Lehman Brightman, a Sioux/Creek Indian who in the Lakota term is an icke wicasa, or common man, and lives by the principles of that term, in that he does not put himself above others, works as a warrior for his people, and lives his life in a good way, with respect and caring for the people. In this life there are times to be active, times to b
e rest and be healed, times to stand strong, times to be cared for. Lee needs us now, and I am reaching out to ask you to support this man in his waning years. Please let me tell you about who this man is and what he needs from the community.

There are roles and cycles in life that we are all bound by. The cycles come to us in the duration of our lives, while the roles we have in life are chosen. In that regards Lee is an exceptional ikce wicasa, for he never takes the easy choices in life and never gives up! Born on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, he grew up in Oklahoma where his mother’s people came from and where his father worked for the BIA. He grew up in Indian Country and saw the poverty and the unjust treatment of his fellow Indian people, something that would inform his entire life. Lee is a highly intelligent and physically imposing figure. These characteristics and his sense of social justice have informed his life choices and actions.

His accomplishments are long, and show how he has chosen to life his life in a good and caring way. Some of the choices and accomplishments he has made in life:

· He was a football and track star at Oklahoma State University.

· He was a Marine wounded in action in Korea and awarded a Purple Heart for bravery.

· He earned a B.A. degree from OSU and an M.A. degree from UC Berkeley.

· He and his former wife Trudy Felix Brightman (Sicangu Lakota, now deceased) raised a family of three sons; Lehman Jr., Lakota Gall and Quanah Parker in Pinole, CA.

· He founded and was National President of United Native Americans Inc., a non-profit organization promoting the progress and general welfare of American Indians. (1968)

· As Professor Brightman, he established and coordinated the first-ever Native American Studies Program in the United States at UC Berkeley (1969).

· He has taught at UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, Sacramento State University and Contra Costa College in San Pablo, CA (1969-2006).

· He led the take-over and occupation of Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota (1970).

· He was the director of the San Francisco American Indian Center.

· He sheltered Dennis Banks in his family home when he was a fugitive from South Dakota after the conflict at Wounded Knee.

· He led investigations of seven Indian boarding schools and three Indian hospitals, due to the poor service and abusive treatment of Indian people.

· He testified in two U.S. Senate hearings on Indian boarding schools and reservations hospitals.

· He spoke out publicly about the sterilization of native women in Indian hospitals.

· He authored numerous articles on the history of Indian Education and federal boarding schools.

· He is the former editor of THE FIRST National Indian newspaper called Warpath.

· He was involved in the occupation of Alcatraz and the take-over of Wounded Knee.

· He was one of the National Coordinators of the Longest Walk (1978)

· He was one of the National Coordinators for the Long Walk for Survival (1980).

This is quite an incredible list. He is a family man, an activist, an educator, an author, an academic, a veteran, a publisher, an athlete, a leader, and, now, an elder who needs our support. Lee suffered a stroke last year and since that time has been in the hospital in several different facilities. All his retirement funds are being used to cover his medical expenses and the mortgage on his family home is seriously in arrears with an imminent auction looming overhead. His son Quanah is organizing a fundraiser to try and address some of the expenses and is asking for community support to help keep the family home, which is also the office of UNA, the organization which Lee founded and that has informed his life’s activism work.

The family needs donations to help save Professor Lehman Brightman’s home of over 25 years and the Home Office of U.N.A. from foreclosure; assistance for payments with the PG&E, and pro-bono legal assistance in remedying the foreclosure. If you can help, donations may be made directly to Wells Fargo Bank, Loan # 0044126233 for the property address 2434 Faria Avenue, Pinole, California 94564. With an Auction date of October 9th 2012 fast approaching, we are in desperate need for your financial support.

Cards of appreciation, well wishes and encouragement may also be sent to Lee at the above address and will be delivered to him by Quanah. Lee has been in the hospital over a year and is in stable but monitored condition. He has his good days and his bad. If you wish to visit Lee please contact Quanah about this as well. If you have any questions or can offer other types of support, please contact Quanah Brightman at: (510) 672-7187 . The entire UNA Family personally thanks you for your prayers for Lehman’s health and well being, and for your generous donations, which are deeply appreciated.

Lee has always acted out of a sense of social justice for what is right and has been a lifelong advocate for native peoples. The fact that he is now destitute, and has to pay his medical expenses after having served his country in it’s time of need, I think is an indictment of how we treat our veterans and elders, but that is a larger story for another time. Right now, I hope that we can do something to help in this situation as a small way of thanking Lee for his choices to stand for the people and that you will do what you can to offer support, whether it be money, prayers, cards, songs, visits, or all of those, to share with our relative, our elder uncle. I have great respect and admiration for such a man who has stood so long for the people, and hope that those of us who can do something to thank him for his lifelong service while he is with us now.

Wopila tanka

AIM West Film Fest and November Conference Flyer

AIM West Film Festival Schedule
3rd Annual
International American Indian Movement Film Festival
Hosted by AIM West
Brava Theater, 2781 24th Street
San Francisco, CA
Friday, October 12, 2012
11:30 a.m.
Opening Prayer Drumming
12:00 p.m.
“Indian Summer in Geneva” (52 min.) 1977
Producer: Volkmar Ziegler
12:52 p.m.:
Q& A and intro to next films
1:00 p.m.
“Guatemala Vive” (30 min.) 2012
by AIM West Productions
Director: Adrian Carrasco
1:30 p.m.
Q &A- Discussion
1:45 p.m.
“My Adopted Daughter from Nicaragua” (30 min.) 2012
Director: Morten Bruus
2:15 p.m.
Q & A- Discussion
2:30 p.m.
“Behind the Blue Veil” (Tuareg People) (9.5 min) 2012
“Imazighen Lybia” (8 min.) Documentary
2:50 p.m.
Q&A- Discussion
3:00 p.m.
“The People and the Olive” (Palestine) (60min.) 2012
Director: Aaron Dennis
4:00 p.m.
Q&A- Discussion
4:15 p.m.
“Wild Horses & Renegades” (79 min.) 2010
Director: James Anaquad Kleinert
5:35 p.m.
Q&A- Discussion
5:45 p.m.
“Into the Current: Burma’s Political Prisoners” (76 min.) 2012
Director: Jeanne Hallacy
7:00 p.m
“Aung San Suu Kyi-Lady of No Fear” (64 min.) 2010
Director: Annie Gyrithe Bonne
8:05 p.m.
Q&A- Discussion of films on Burma
8:15 p.m.
“The Game of Life, Heart and Spirit of the Onondaga” (15 min.) 2012
Produced and Directed by Stu Lisson and Meg Lynch
8:30 p.m.
“Crooked Arrows” (105 min)
Drama-Feature Film
Director: Steve Rash
Films end @ 10:15

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